John Paul Farmer is the Director of Technology & Civic Innovation at Microsoft, based in New York City. In this role, John is breaking new ground in the creative application of emerging technologies, through lean product prototyping and innovative public-private partnerships. John leads a team that connects promising technologies – from machine learning to blockchain to the Internet of Things – to society’s most pressing challenges. As founding CEO, he also leads the Innovation Project, a non-profit organization with the mission of spreading innovation best practices.

Previously, John served as the Senior Advisor for Innovation at the White House under President Barack Obama, where he co-founded and led the Presidential Innovation Fellows program to attract top private sector technologists and entrepreneurs for focused tours of duty in government. During his time in Washington, John architected how an entrepreneurial mentality could be brought to bear on government’s hardest problems, creating the blueprint for innovative management and a digital services revolution in the public sector. Prior to the U.S. government, John envisioned and built new business units in the private sector. He has experience in the technology, finance and healthcare sectors, in particular, and played baseball professionally in the minor league systems of the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers.

John holds an M.B.A. with honors from the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University and an A.B. with honors from Harvard University.